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Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 11244


Photo of Howard, John

Howard, John

Period of Service: 11/03/1996 to 03/12/2007

More information about Howard, John on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 14/09/2001

Release Type: Media Release

Transcript ID: 11244

After very careful assessment of the options available, the Government has decided that Brisbane will host the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Australia in early October 2001.


I had earlier hoped strongly that Canberra, as the national capital, might host CHOGM in the year of the Centenary of Federation. An announcement to that effect had been made. I can understand that some in the ACT will be disappointed that this could not happen. So am I.


The experience of the recent CHOGM in South Africa, however, unfortunately showed clearly that Canberra would not be able to meet the considerable logistic demands for a meeting of this size. The sheer size of the modern CHOGM and the space, accommodation and other requirements necessary to stage a successful meeting place a huge demand on the resources of the host city.


To illustrate, the personal accommodation for Heads of Government in Durban required 55 hotel suites with appropriate facilities yet, on my advice, only about 24 are available in Canberra.


I am confident that Brisbane has all the necessary facilities to host the conference.


It was also evident after Durban that Commonwealth leaders wanted to streamline arrangements for CHOGM, in particular to place greater emphasis on the retreat element of the meeting, with a minimum of extra travel. Meeting in Brisbane with the retreat nearby will enable this to happen.


I have fully briefed the Chief Minister of the ACT, Mrs Carnell, on the reasons for the Government's decision to shift the location of CHOGM 2001 to Brisbane.


At their Durban meeting, Commonwealth Heads of Government set up a High Level Group, consisting of ten Prime Ministers and Presidents, chaired by President Mbeki of South Africa and including myself, to review the role of the Commonwealth and advise on how best it could respond to the challenges of the new century. Australia will be working hard to ensure that the outcomes of this review process are reflected in the shape and focus of the Brisbane CHOGM.


I understand that the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association meeting from 10-14 September 2001 will still bring approximately 800 delegates to Canberra from around the Commonwealth just weeks before CHOGM.


The precise dates and detailed arrangements for Brisbane will be settled in consultation with the Queensland Government and the Commonwealth Secretariat.


I am sure the Brisbane meeting will be an outstanding success, both in its outcomes and its arrangements.


31 December, 1999

Transcript 11244